EXCLUSIVE: French singer to star in Jackie Chan’s next

UPDATE: French media has been citing this article left and right, which led to Lorie Pester’s talent agency ECI to tweet one of the articles. If that’s not a confirmation I don’t know what is…just remember, you heard it here first!

French singer/actress Lorie Pester has been cast opposite Jackie Chan in the action extravaganza Dragon Blade, currently shooting under the direction of Daniel Lee (Black Mask, 14 Blades,…), we can exclusively report.

The historical epic, which also stars American actors John Cusack (Being John Malkovich) and Adrien Brody (The Pianist), is set to be China’s most expensive production to date with a budget of $65 million. It tells the story of a Roman general (Cusack) who disappears into Han Dynasty China with his 1,000 man legion and is hunted down by Tiberius (Brody), another Roman general. Chan plays a Chinese commander who teams up with Cusack.

Pester spent most of last week shooting scenes for the film in the Gobi desert. It is unclear at this point what role she is playing, but it is safe to say her character is connected to Cusack’s in some way as the two seem to have become fast friends based on their flurry of tweets.

Nevertheless this casting is sure to mark a turning point in the career of the young woman, who has been written off by many in her home country but may end up being an action star to watch. Continue reading

Sequelitis part 5: Indiana Jones, Batman, Tron and Zombies

Ever since Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull was released, lead star Harrison Ford has expressed enthusiasm in a potential fifth big-screen entry in the popular adventure franchise, as long as it doesn’t take to long for production to start, and he’s recently stated that creator George Lucas currently has an idea for the plot that is “crazy, but great”.

According to the official publication Production Weekly, Christopher Nolan, the director of the previous two Batman films, has officially signed on for a third one, and pre-production will start in February 2009. Take this with a grain of salt because that date seems way too close.

The highly anticipated Tr2n will be made in 3D while newcomer director Joseph Kosinski believes the film will be released by the end of 2010 and confirms the first movie’s director, Steven Lisberger, is involved in the production. Also, original star Jeff Bridges, who reprises his role, is extremely enthusiastic.

Rumors have it that Paul Andrews Williams (The Cottage) has signed on to direct 28 Months Later, the third entry in Danny Boyle’s superb zombie franchise. The only problem? Danny Boyle has always stated he would return to direct the film himself.

Source: /Film

Suck on this Warner Bros, Hari Puttar FTW!

If you’ve already been to this site, you’ve probably heard about the Harry Potter/Hari Puttar lawsuit Warner Bros initiated about a month ago. If not, the gist is that Warner Bros filed a lawsuit against Indian company Mirchii Movies over the latter’s film Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors, complaining it resembled its Harry Potter property a tad too much. Of course, Hari has nothing in common with Harry and is actually more of a Home Alone ripoff. You can read more about it here (including Hari Puttar‘s trailer) and here.

As I predicted, Warner Bros succeeded only in embarassing themselves, as Indian courts rejected the complaint yesterday on grounds that the stories are in no way similar and that Warner knew of the film since 2005 (!). Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors will now come out this Friday in India, instead of the September 12th release originally planned.

In related Potter news, 25 minutes of the sixth film’s IMAX presentation will be converted for a 3D presentation. Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince will open worldwide in mid-July 2009.

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Iron Man 2 in IMAX 3D?

Iron Man director Jon Favreau wants to follow in The Dark Knight‘s footsteps and shoot part of the sequel with IMAX cameras. As you may or may not know, IMAX screens are much more square-shaped than “normal” ones, with an aspect ratio of 143/100 as compared to 185/100 which is the standard for most films these days.

I wasn’t lucky enough to catch The Dark Knight in IMAX but a lot of people who did insist it is truly amazing to behold. From what I understand, the image would expand for certain scenes, offering the viewer a greater immersion into the film. Once again I haven’t experienced it, so I can’t really comment, but if it is as good as they say, then awesome I guess.

Additionally, Favreau says he’d love for Iron Man 2 to go 3D, which I really don’t think is a good idea. I’m strongly opposed to the idea that 3D is the future of cinema. I enjoy 3D films when they come out, but I am a firm believer than 2D is capable of drawing in the viewer much better than 3D, strangely enough.

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From Beetlejuice to Batman to Ken, the Barbie dude

Michael Keaton, best remembered for his lead role in Tim Burton’s two Batman films, has reportedly joined the voice cast of Disney/Pixar’s forthcoming Toy Story 3, directed by Lee Unkrich (co-director of Toy Story 2). Keaton will the voice Ken, aka the Barbie dude, and I guess he’ll logically be a love interest for the Barbie character voiced by Disney regular Jodi Benson. Now I’ve seen both Toy Story films and for the life of me I can’t remember Barbie being in it…but I guess that’s not the issue is it?

Disney had already started work on the picture by itself back in 2004, based on a script by Jim Herzfeld (Meet The Parents). The movie would have centered on Andy’s toys traveling to Taiwan in order to rescue Buzz Lightyear, who’s facing destruction following a massive recall of the toy’s product line. The premise sounds like it could have been interesting, but also very (too?) similar to Toy Story 2, with a simple, cheap role reversal.

After the Disney/Pixar merger in 2006, that version of the movie was cancelled and Pixar took control over production. Now written by Andrew Stanton (Wall-E) and Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine), the film will chronicle the lives of everyone’s favorite animated toys, now staying at a day-care center as their former owner Andy has gone to college and is “too old for toys”.

The original voice cast returns for the film, which is slated for release in 3D in the US on June 18th 2010, following re-releases of the first two movies in 3D.

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